Biden administration to ship COVID vaccine directly to pharmacies



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More than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available at approximately 6,500 pharmacies across the United States from February 11, the White House announced on Tuesday.

Why is this important: Local, national and supermarket pharmacies have an established customer base, user portals, and other resources regarding mass influenza and shingles vaccination protocols. The federal government hopes this will expand access and speed up the immunization process.

Yes, but: Demand for vaccines in these new channels is expected to far outstrip supply, COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

The state of play: The millions of doses are in addition to the 10.5 million doses that are expected to be sent to states and other jurisdictions.

  • Ultimately, the federal government wants to reach 40,000 pharmacies to provide vaccines.

The big picture: On January 12, the U.S. government began encouraging states to open up vaccine eligibility to people 65 and older and people 16 and older with certain medical conditions – or one-third of the U.S. population.

What they say: “Millions of Americans turn to their local pharmacies every day for their medications, flu shots, and more. And pharmacies are easily accessible in most communities, with most Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy, ”Zients said.

  • “People need to first make sure they meet their state’s eligibility criteria for vaccinations, and then check availability on their local pharmacy’s website. Fairness is at the heart of how Disease control centers are working with states to select partner pharmacies for this first phase, ”he added.
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